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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 John 4:7-10
7 Beloved [agapetos], let us love [agapao] one another [allelon]: for [hoti] love [agape] is [esti] of [ek] God [theos]; and [kai] every one [pas] that loveth [agapao] is born [gennao] of [ek] God [theos], and [kai] knoweth [ginosko] God [theos].
8 He that loveth [agapao] not [me] knoweth [ginosko] not [ou] God [theos]; for [hoti] God [theos] is [esti] love [agape].
9 In [en] this [touto] was manifested [phaneroo] the love [agape] of God [theos] toward [en] us [hemin], because [hoti] that God [theos] sent [apostello] his [autos] only begotten [monogenes] Son [huios] into [eis] the world [kosmos], that [hina] we might live [zao] through [dia] him [autos].
10 Herein [en] [touto] is [esti] love [agape], not [hoti] that [ou] we [hemeis] loved [agapao] God [theos], but [alla] that [hoti] he [autos] loved [agapao] us [hemas], and [kai] sent [apostello] his [autos] Son [huios] to be the propitiation [hilasmos] for [peri] our [hemon] sins [hamartia]. KJV-Interlinear
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. NASB
John has already set up a contrast between love and hate. These two words illustrate the operating function of ones life. And even more than that, they represent the pattern of ones thinking as well as the pattern or trend of ones functional daily life.
You will either operate under the principles of love, or under the principles of hate in your life. You cannot operate in both at the same time. We have already studied the division of the two and how you go back and forth between the two.
Namely sin is the barrier which separates the two spheres of environment in which you will live. To sin means you operate in the environment of hate. We call that being out of fellowship within our study.
In order to get out of the sphere of hate and back into the sphere of love (fellowship), then you have to confess your sins to God the Father, as prescribed in 1 John 1, and then God will forgive you your sins and cleanse you of all unrighteousness, thus placing you back into a functional relationship with Him. We call that being or living in fellowship. That is where you are supposed to live your life. That is the place or residence of your true spiritual life.
Love here is the principle of the relationship taught in the Bible. God is love. Love is the comprehensive acceptance of and the utilization of all the principles taught in the Bible. Love only functions while one lives inside the fellowship sphere.
Anyone who is out of fellowship is not and cannot function in love, as we define it here. They are residents of the environment of hate. We call that being out of fellowship and living in the sphere of the sin nature.
Recall from our former studies that the sin nature has two areas within it. An area of strength which is human good, and an area of weakness which consists of sin. Both human good, which originates from the sin nature (any good thing which you do while out of fellowship), and sin which of course always originates from the sin nature, are functions of the hate environment.
Hate is the opposite of love. Hate is the function and production of the sin nature. This is also referred to as wickedness which is a reference of the production of the sin nature. And this is called evil, which is a reference to the policy of the sin nature and anything which is in opposition of God. All of this is also referred to as an anti-christ, or that which is in opposition of Christ.
Living out of fellowship is a rejection of, or indifference to, the mandates of God, and therefore represent an attitude of rejection of Christ.
Now, in order to manifest love within us, we have to be in fellowship, and advance in our spiritual life through the daily study of His Word. Manifesting love in us is the function of spiritual growth and utilizing His principles of doctrine to run our life.
It is from this same principle of love in which God became man and went to the Cross in our behalf in order for Gods high standards regarding sin could be dealt with appropriately and thus satisfying God as to the disposition of sin. Christ therefore became the propitiation for our sins. Something which no normal human being can do.
Anyone who does not operate in accordance with the mandates of God (the principles of life which are taught in the Bible), anyone who does not live within the fellowship sphere, is not of God. In other words they do not have a functional spiritual life.
All unbelievers by default do not have a spiritual life. They aren't even saved. All believers who live their lives predominantly out of fellowship (as unfortunately most believers are out of fellowship) do not have a functional spiritual life.
They live their lives out of fellowship because they either do not know of the confessional principles, or they are too lazy and simply ignore this aspect of their spiritual life. Most negative believers do not even care to engage in a daily Bible study for a wide variety of reasons.
We did not love God first. We were not even in existence in eternity past when God came up with His divine plan for all of history. And were it not for the work of Christ on the Cross, we would not even have this opportunity to have a life beyond that which we have in this world, if even this life.
God gives each one of us a tremendous opportunity for a better life now, and an opportunity of defining the circumstances of our life in eternity. Only a fool would ignore or throw away such a chance.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.